Saturday, 2 February 2013

My Final Blog


With very mixed feelings, I am sitting here on Saturday morning writing my final blog.  On Thursday 31st January I ceased being a University of Greenwich graduate student.  My student work contract ended, my student email account closed and I woke on 1st February ready to start my new staff contract.  At the end of the day, as I reddened with embarrassment, I was presented with a gift from the Enquiry Unit to mark the submission of my 100th blog.  “Actually it is 103” was all I could manage to stutter as I was left almost speechless.

 Bananagram good bye

I posted my first blog 2 years and four months ago on 1st October 2010. I wanted to challenge the fear of writing that caused me so much angst whenever a deadline loomed.  I thought that by committing to the discipline of writing a short piece on the subject of ‘Student Life’ (which covered pretty much any the topic I wanted), I would learn to relax.  My other reason for writing was that I would be paid for two hours work per month for two blogs.  Although I have written twice that number, and often spent many more than one hour on a blog, that has been my choice, and the more than £500 I have earned has come in very handy.

My blog journey has covered a wide range of topics and I have spent an enjoyable couple of hours rereading some of my earlier work and reminiscing. 

I read about:
  • battling with the injection bum at Higher Education fairs and serving 500 cups of tea to stressed visitors on university open days
  • coming to grips with technology as I conquered my fear of Ipods, blogs, Facebook, Livechat, Twitter and the new computerised phone system
  • working through two summers of Clearing, the second to the sounds of cheering from the Olympic Equestrian events
  • working with Cherie in our Pedants’ corner of the Enquiry Unit finding all the greengrocers’ apostrophes in the weekly updates and exploring the more arcane aspects of the English language by browsing through such wonderful blogs as the ‘The Inky Fool’.
  • completing stained glass panels for the front door and three windows of my house
  • spending time with my daughter in West Sussex while bidding farewell to my son who moved to Perth in Australia
  • finally marrying my lovely Him-at- Home last March after twelve wonderful years together
  • Losing my lovely scooter Valerie Vespa when she was stolen but replacing her with Patricia Piaggio who has proved to be a very trusty steed.
  • Sharing my favourite family recipes including Welsh Rarebit, vegetable soups, and Satsuma cake
  • My favourite festivals – preparing for Christmas, my belief that new year should be in March, and my steadfast refusal to make any resolutions while bears are still hibernating in any part of the world and Australia Day
  • My vegemite blog – I wrote it just because I wanted to and our blog statistics indicated that it was my most popular.


..and finally, with great sadness, I read my tribute to my beloved little sister who died so suddenly and so tragically last November just as I received the news that I had had been awarded my MSc Therapeutic Counselling with Merit. 

Writing my student blogs has enhanced my university experience immensely.  When I studied my first degree while running a full time business, raising two teenagers as a single parent and putting a wreck of a house back together, I did not have time to focus on much more than the bare minimum to achieve my 2:1 and it is so hard to remember much of it. My 104 blogs represent a wonderful record of my three years as a post graduate student and I will treasure them.

My goal of curing my Writer’s Angst has not been completely achieved when completing each piece of my academic work felt like pulling teeth, the last resembling an un-anaesthetised extraction of all four wisdom teeth simultaneously. 
However, I learnt to write the blogs from my heart, and in so doing learnt that this is the form of writing I enjoy the most and the form at which I am best suited. I will never be an academic writer but so many people have told me how much they have enjoyed reading my blogs, I feel confident to go on writing in some form yet to be explored.

Cream-goodbye

Without my blog, I am already searching for another excuse to stop Him-at-Home for yet another photo opportunity. I cannot even end piece this with a graduation photo because our ceremony will not be held until October 2013 when, if all goes to plan, I will have left for Australia.

…so

Good bye to you all and thank you for reading.


*Thanks to Bananagrams for tiles in photo